FreshBox, a Kenyan company that retails solar-powered storage facilities for fresh food preservation has been shortlisted for the international Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge award. The firm is among 10 finalists of the competition, which aims to identify and promote the most energy-efficient, sustainable and cost-effective technologies that can meet the cold storage requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
The announcement was made on 3 August 2018 by the Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). OGCCC is implemented in partnership with , a non-profit organisation working with local businesses to extend access to energy in Africa, to improve livelihoods and accelerate economic growth.
Fourteen expert judges evaluated 28 entries based on financial viability, potential end-user impact, understanding of the product’s target market, and overall sustainability. Showing significant geographical diversity, the OGCCC received entries from 12 countries across five continents.
FreshBox and other shortlisted technology innovation companies, namely, ColdHubs, DGrid Energy, Ecolife, EcoZen Solutions, InspiraFarms, Inviro Choice Solutions, SunDanzer, The Off Grid Factory, and Tiger Power will each receive 10,000 GBP (KSh1.3 million) to deploy their cold storage systems in one of 11 target countries over the course of the next two months.
“The finalist’s units are all solar powered coupled with chemical or thermal storage to provide value to their customers,” says Naomi Wagura, Senior Associate at CLASP (OGCCC implementing partner). “Eight out of the ten finalists expect their products to be used by multiple smallholder farmers or market vendors selling perishable produce like fruits and vegetables on a pay-per-use basis.”
Profiles of the finalists and their innovative approaches will be shared on the Global LEAP.
OGCCC competition winners will be announced in May 2019.
The OGCCC is a part of the , which is funded by UK Aid delivered by DFID and implemented by an -led consortium. Ideas to Impact has designed and runs prizes to stimulate innovative solutions to climate change adaptation and access to energy, water, sanitation and hygiene. OGCCC is also supported by Power Africa’s .